Tag Archives: Scrivener

Goal Tracking? There’s an App for That!

A friend introduced me to a role playing game (sort of) this weekend. It’s called Habitica and it’s a combination of a goal tracking app and a role playing game. The basic gist of it is that you list your goals and click them off as you accomplish them.  Clicking them off earns you experience points and gold. There’s more to it than that (Guilds, Groups, Parties, Quests, etc) but I’m still learning about it so I’m not going to get into that here.

I’m rather nervously giving it a try. It looks like fun and it looks useful, but it also looks like a time sink.

You can play on the computer or with a phone app, and since my phone’s memory sucks I’m doing it on the computer. So far it’s cute and it seems to be effective. (But I just signed up for it yesterday so it might be a bit too soon to tell yet.)

Is it a time sink?  Well… I don’t know yet. It takes some time to set up your goals and the rest, I suppose, depends on how involved you get with guilds and parties and groups and such.  (There is a writing guild, so of course I had to join it. I’m not entirely certain what it does yet.)

Also, the FAQ leaves much to be desired and a good tutorial would help a lot.

The same friend also told me about Asana. It seems to be more work-team focused. (When you sign up it nags you for a work email, teammates, team name, etc.) I like the idea that you create projects in it, with individual tasks under that project to break it down.

Then again, I love that same basic idea in Scrivener too, and, um, yeah, well… Let’s not talk about me and Scrivener. I should probably just delete it from my computer. (And I would, but I’m too stubborn. I want to like it. I know it could be useful for things like… oh… organizing the disaster known as The Academy of the Accord.  But it’s just too much.)

I’m thinking that Asana might be useful for organizing all of my WiPs and ideas and starts. We’ll see.

So, that’s part of what I was up to yesterday. Let’s see if I can keep up with at least one of them through Friday.



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Decisions, Decisions

“In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”
(T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”)

I spent most of yesterday going through the tutorial in Scrivener again, since I hadn’t looked at it since just after downloading it last winter.  It made a little more sense this time and the information overload headache didn’t start until Part Two – another seventeen rounds or so and I should have it pretty well in hand.

Or I can dive in and do hands-on learning.

Learning by doing is what works best for me, so I’m starting to (very nervously) load the books from The Academy of the Accord series into it.  (I’m afraid it will eat them and I won’t be able to get them back.  I’m paranoid that way.)

I’m really excited by the thought that this program can help me organize the series, but a little overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the project and the amount of work that is going to be involved just in getting the books into it and divided into chapters.  (Not to mention still overwhelmed by all the things that Scrivener can do.)  I don’t even want to think about the editing, re-writing, and internal coherence issues.  Or  the fact that some of the books have three or more alternate versions of certain scenes.  I’m pretty sure I’m looking at a year-long project with this, after it’s all in Scrivener.

But I can do this!  And I will, because I love writing, I love these characters, I love the whole thing.

The plan was to finish the three books that I know I still need to write (and untangle the mess in the middle of the series) by the end of the year.   (Yes, I know it’s only May.  But you have no idea what I’m facing in that middle section!)

But… I keep thinking about turning my attention to The Other Mages trilogy.  According to “The Plan” I’m not supposed to work on it until after the first of the year, but… It won’t take nearly as long to finish and edit for e-publication as The Academy of the Accord will, so, while it’s not exactly instant gratification it’s certainly more immediate gratification.

But it will break me out of the flow of The Academy of the Accord, and I’m not sure I want to lose my connection to these characters until I’m done with their stories.  (I also don’t want to lose track of the story arc and relations and the “this, that, and the other” that flows through what is looking to be around a dozen books.)

I suppose I could try to divide my time between the two, but I’m not quite sure how well that would work.

If anyone reading this has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

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Well, I did it!

Too late to back out now.  Song and Sword  is available on Kindle.  And I am… relieved.  Still a little nervous, but mostly relieved.  And tired.

Formatting isn’t hard – but it sure is time-consuming and monotonous. I was going to use Scrivener  to do it, but I haven’t played with it yet other than the tutorial when I first downloaded it last fall, so I wanted to have my copy of Scrivener for Dummies on hand, but I can’t find it.  Fortunately their “how to” book is great.

I know I had it in January for the “show and tell” meeting of the local writers’ group.  The other book I took to the meeting is on the shelf where it belongs, but not that one.  The next logical place for it to be would be near my computer, so I dove into the piles of papers and notebooks and miscellaneous items too bizarre to mention and came up empty.

(On a brighter note I can now see roughly half of the stand next to my computer, and the floor beside it is a little more user-friendly.  And I found a scene I’d written for one of the Academy of the Accord books.  (I was beginning to think that I’d dreamed writing it.)  I also located a bunch of cross stitch charts (that need to be entered into the inventory file) and I tamed a couple piles of scrap paper that I keep for my printer.)

So, anyhow, what’s next?   Getting Song and Sword out for Nook, for one thing.  And available as a hard copy.

And more writing, of course!  (And a continued search for Scrivener for Dummies.)

The plan (Ha!) is to finish rough (very rough!) first drafts of all of the books in the Academy of the Accord series by the end of the year.  (Except for the mess in the middle — that might take longer to sort out.)

After the first of the year I want to return to The Other Mages trilogy that came out of my first ever NaNoWriMo.  Book One is almost done — I just have to figure out how to get them out of the mess I left them in.  Book Two… I think I’m about halfway through it, but I’m not too sure about it.  It’s over 50,000 words and still seems to be in search of a plot, so I need to sit down and make an outline for it.  And I need to do the same with Book Three, since it needs a complete rewrite.  The goal is to get them published by the end of next year.   Of course, that means that they are going to need real titles, and I hate naming things.   (I’m thinking that books two and three might be Camp NaNoWriMo projects next year.)

Then… something completely new for November 2014 NaNoWriMo.

And in 2015 the focus will be on The Academy of the Accord series.  Getting that patched up and edited and turned into a cohesive whole will be a massive undertaking, but it’s a project that I’m looking forward to completing.

But for now I’m still caught in a feeling of unreality regarding Song and Sword.  I can’t believe that it’s over.  Done.  Not something I have to work on anymore.  And that I’ll never write those characters again.  (Unless I do a couple side stories or a sequel.)

I think I feel… a little sad.

Excited and thrilled, but sad.

I wonder if this is how mothers feel when their children go off to kindergarten, or college, or… wherever.


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